Aging

Once upon a time, many moons ago, aging was associated with wisdom.  Aging was also respected and highly sought after.  The eldery in the family would share stories, answer questions, even solve problems.  Our culture today, puts no value on the aging.  They are gathered up and placed in facilities that are kept safe and secure.  Our children rarely see them and when they do, are often afraid.

Now I'm not saying I want to quicken to process of aging or even want to look older than I am, but you won't see me coloring my hair in an effort to look younger.  I earned every gray hair I have!  I am the mother of three lovely young ladies.  Let me tell you, those teenage years added more than just one gray hair!  Other health related events likely added a few more.  I'm okay with my graying hair.  I don't want to look like a teenager....because I'm not.  I've lived a few decades now and know a few things about life.

During my girls teenage years, I asked them to not let me dress too young, but I definitely don't want to dress too old either.  The benefit of having daughters is they will tell me what looks good.  They are also not afraid to give me a look that says, "What are you thinking?"  I totally appreciate their honesty.  However, it has been suggested more than once, I dye my hair.  Frankly, I don't want the maintenance of it.  Call it lazy, but it just means more work and effort in chasing youth.

Now skin care is a different story.  I won't pay for plastic surgery or expensive skin treatments, but I do use good skin care products.  My days in the sun have affected my skin.  When I was a teenager, I coveted the tans my friends could aquire.  I, of course, burned, freckled, and peeled....in that order!  Using quality skin care products can slow down wrinkles (I really don't want them....but they are here.)  I only wished I had used some preventative methods all along, especailly eye cream.  The tissues under the eye are more fragile and will age faster.  Also ladies, don't forget the neck.  Moisturize with a quality product!

I'm totally okay with growing older, but it's okay if there are ways to slow down the process, if possible, by making smart choices.  Here are a few tips on the subject, according to Health magazine:

  • Drop some pounds, that is, if you are overweight.  Being too large can increase risks of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and possibly taking 12 years off your life.  But, being too thin is risky too by increasing the risk for osteoporosis and poor immune function.
  • Ease the stress in your life.  Chronic stress makes us feel old and actually ages us.  So find a way to chill out!
  • Keep learning. Education lengthens your life span because it can help you be better informed about how to stay healthy. More education usually means increased income to be able to afford greater access to good health care and insurance.
  • Connect with people.  Having a positive, meaningful relationships with people is critical to our wellbeing.
  • Extend a hand by volunteering.  Simply helping out another person lowers our blood pressure.
  • Work out often.  Three days of cardio and two days of strength training a week.
  • Reconsider your protein.  A diet rich in processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, cured bacon and cured deli meats) has been linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Sleep better and get more of it.  Try for at least 8 hours a night.

Aging is apart of life.  Sooner or later it's going to happen, but making better life choices will help us age gracefully.

Health-bite: aging is a part of life....don't stress over it.